The Vineyard Victims (Wine Country)
by Ellen Crosby
Cover Artist: Hiro Kimuraa
Review by Mel Jacob
Minotaur Books Hardcover / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250076625
Date: 07 November 2017 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Ellen Crosby adds to her Wine Country Mysteries with Vineyard Victims, the eighth in the series. Lucie Montgomery witnesses the death of a good friend and former presidential candidate when his car forces her off the road and he veers into a large stone pillar. Was it an accident, suicide, or murder?
Lucie had recognized the car and hurried toward to it, hoping to help the victim, but is unable to get the car door open. He asks her to tell Rick he's sorry and asks for his forgiveness. He also gives her a MedicAlert bracelet. When she is unable to free her friend, Mick Dunne, a neighbor and former lover pulls Lucie away from the burning car just before it explodes.
A reporter friend of Lucie has uncovered possible fraud and misuse of campaign funds which bolsters the possibility of a suicide. The family is anxious to suppress such rumors and urges Lucie to let the public relations manhandle the press.
Despite the police verdict of accidental death, Lucie doesn't believe it. Lucie discovers that the victim, his current wife, Mick Dunne, and Garrett, the public relations guy, were all in the same college group thirty years ago. At that time, another student from the group disappeared and was later found dead. The MedicAlert bracelet had belonged to the dead man.
The list of possible suspects includes his wife, Mick Dunne, the missing professor, Sasha's mother, or a political rival or disgruntled donor. Lucie has no idea who engineered the earlier death or the present one.
Crosby manages an exciting climax with a few unexpected revelations. In addition to the eight Vineyard Mysteries, Crosby also has written the Sophie Medina Mysteries series and her first novel Moscow Nights.